AWARD SCREENING: BEST EDITING IN A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – 17 BLOCKS
Nine year old Emmanuel began filming himself and his family with a home video camera in 1999, capturing his Washington D.C. neighborhood through the eyes of an innocent child. Growing up just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol, however, proved more difficult than expected. Filmmaker, journalist, and frequent This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart befriended the Sanford family as they continued to document their daily life over a 20-year period in a city plagued by poverty, addiction, and gun violence.
What resulted from this uniquely collaborative effort between Rothbart and the family is a transcendent portrait of the unwavering strength of familial bonds. The film follows the characters through periods of joy and sadness, all captured on tape with stunning intimacy. This incredibly touching non-fiction odyssey offers a remarkable look into the lives of one family who was brave enough to share their story with the world.